Category Archives: Colquitt EMC

Videos of the landfill gas energy meeting 2013-04-15

Since LAKE was the only coverage of the Pecan Row Landfill Gas Energy meeting 15 April 2013 at Colquitt EMC in Valdosta, these videos let you see the interesting cast of speakers and other attendees.

Our host, Danny Nichols, Colquitt EMC General Manager, expressed concerns about feel-good vs. economically viable energy projects and said he thought the landfill gas project was both, emphasizing “like a switch it comes on”, in other words, baseload. (Colquitt EMC is not big on smart grid.)

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Green Power EMC landfill gas projects

As we saw, ESG’s Pecan Row Landfill Gas Facility flash flyer quotes Jeff Pratt, President of Green Power EMC, who said this is Green Power EMC’s third landfill energy project. Curiously, Green Power EMC’s Landfill Gas Project page doesn’t list the other two, and its FAQ is apparently out of date, saying “Currently, our one landfill gas-to-electricity projects generate a combined four megawatts of power.” However, the other two appear to be:

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Landfill gas energy meeting Monday morning

Pecan Row Landfill Gas Facility

Received Friday as a PDF. -jsq

Valdosta, Ga. (April 11, 2013) — Representatives from Advanced Disposal, Green Power EMC and Energy Systems Group (ESG) will hold an informational session about the Pecan Row Landfill Gas Facility on April 15 at 8:30 a.m. EST at the Colquitt EMC Valdosta District Office, located at 273 Norman Drive.

The cover page seems to be condensed from ESG’s Pecan Row Landfill Gas Facility flash flyer. That ESG flyer also quotes Gerald Allen, Landfill Vice President , Advanced Disposal, and Jeff Pratt, President of Green Power EMC, who said this is Green Power EMC’s third landfill energy project.

The rest past the paragraph above quoted seems to be verbatim from Continue reading

Let the Sun Shine: Fact versus Fiction —Michael G. Noll

LTE in the VDT today. I’ve added a few links. -jsq

Fox News recently claimed that “solar won’t work in America because it’s not as sunny as Germany”. Such statements are common for a network that has long lost its credibility. Unfortunately too many take such gibberish at face value. Thus columns like “environmentalism or obstructionism?” are not surprising, but in the end it’s the facts that matter:

  • Global warming is real. For years we have been experiencing record heat waves, droughts, wild fires, etc., and while seawater levels are rising, storms like hurricane Sandy become major threats to low lying areas along coast lines.
  • The main culprit for global warming are greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, resulting from the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal and oil.
  • While China overall emits more than we do, the US leads in per capita emissions. The average US citizen produces three times more carbon dioxide than the average Chinese citizen.
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Colquitt EMC gets USDA funding, but not for smart grid

Local rural Georgia electric co-op Colquitt EMC nets USDA smart grid funding! Just not for actually doing smart grid. Funny how almost no states within Southern Company's sphere of influence got any of that funding. Too bad; we could use some of those jobs and retention of existing industries.

USDA PR 11 July 2012, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure: Funding Includes $10 Million for Smart Grid Technology

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that rural electric cooperatives and utilities in 15 states will receive loan guarantees to make improvements to generation and transmission facilities and implement smart grid technologies.

"Maintaining and upgrading rural electric systems creates jobs and supports economic development," Vilsack said. "These loans I am announcing today will have a lasting impact on the rural landscape for generations to come. They will help ensure that rural areas can retain existing businesses, support new ones and have reliable, up-to-date infrastructure."

With this funding, USDA Rural Development moves closer to reaching Secretary Vilsack's goal to fund more than $250 million for smart grid technologies. Today's announcement includes support for more than $10 million in smart grid technologies, which help utilities make efficiency improvements to the electric grid and help consumers lower their electric bills by reducing energy use in homes and businesses.

Here's the one project in Georgia:

Colquitt Electric Membership Corporation — $20,000,000. Funds will be used to build and improve 478 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements, serving 3,284 customers.

That's my EMC! Go Colquitt EMC!

Wait, where's the smart grid project? Well, not in Georgia. In Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina (two in that state), Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Texas. The only state in Southern Company's "Competitive Generation Opportunities" area with a smart grid project on that list is North Carolina. Just as North Carolina is the only state in that area with a renewable energy standard.

Southern Company and its child Georgia Power, successfully repelling electric innovation since 1973!

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Automated solar sizing from Rakuten in Japan

Stateside some of the lengthiest parts of a solar installation are finding an installer and getting them to get around to making an estimate. A Japanese retailer is leverage google maps to do all that online.

Asahi Shimbun wrote today, Rakuten to market home solar power systems via mouse click

Online retailer Rakuten Inc. will begin selling residential solar power generation systems this month priced about 40 percent lower than similar conventional products.

Customers can get a price estimate by accessing the new Rakuten Solar website and clicking on the roof of their house on an aerial photo provided by Google Maps, the company said July 9.

The company will be able to cut costs by eliminating the distribution process.

Prices for a detached house will start at 950,000 yen ($12,000), including installation costs. Taxes are not included.

That’s very reasonable. Although the story doesn’t say what sort of size in kilowatts DC or kilowatt hours AC that $12,000 would buy.

A bit more on how it works, and whether we could do that here:

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Tornado damage, Cat Creek and Quarterman Road, Lowndes County, Georgia, 3 March 2012

There was a twister in Lowndes County today. The only property damage we saw was to this house on Cat Creek Road, which now has a pine tree draped across it. The house roof appears undamaged.

There are no reports of anyone being hurt. Everyone is accounted for.

Then the tornado came through the woods to Quarterman Road: Continue reading

Enabling a commodity market in solar power: Dr. Smith’s electric meters

Dr. Smith’s electric meters enable a commodity market in solar power, with billing from generators to customers. And EMCs can take 1% or so for carrying the power, plus they can get advertising rights that could be worth more than selling electricity! If SB 459 or something like it gets out of committee and into law.

Dr. Sidney Smith explained how the electric meter he’s developed uses cellular technology to facilitate direct billing from solar generator and customer. Gretchen asked him what if they generate more than they use. Dr. Smith said they wouldn’t. I asked what if they added more panels. He said they could, but there are trees in the back.

Here’s Part 1 of 5:


Enabling a commodity market in solar power: Dr. Smith’s electric meters Part 1 of 5:
South Eastern Pathology Associates,
Selling Power, Lower Rates for Customers LLC (LRCLLC),
Richmond Hill, Bryan County, Georgia, 17 February 2012.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

He forgot about the parking lot out front where the panels he just connected are located: no shading there, and plenty of room for more solar panels.

Dr. Smith said the best places for solar are where there is no shade and near power poles. Gretchen asked how do you finance? Dr. Smith answered, Continue reading

Southern Company has 3 biggest CO2 plants in U.S.

David Ibala wrote for the AJC 11 January 2012, Study: Southern Company plants are 3 biggest greenhouse gas emitters
Two Southern Company coal-fired electric generating plants near Atlanta are the biggest contributors to global greenhouse gases in the United States, and a third Southern plant in Alabama is the third-biggest emitter, an analysis of environmental data found Wednesday.

The nation’s No. 1 producer of carbon dioxide — the heat-trapping gas that is held chiefly responsible in models of global warming — is Plant Scherer in Juliette, about 65 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta, according to the Associated Press analysis of data reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 2010.

That’s the plant that supplies most of our power in south Georgia, whether you get it through Georgia Power or Colquitt EMC.
The No. 2 producer is Plant Bowen, just west of Cartersville, about 50 miles northwest of central Atlanta, and the third-largest is Plant Miller in Quinton, Ala., about 165 miles west of Atlanta near Birmingham, the AP said.
The story also notes (as a picture caption):
Georgia Power recently installed pollution-control equipment, called baghouses, to curb mercury pollution at Plant Scherer. EPA rules that will regulate mercury likely will lead to the utility to install additional baghouses at other coal-fired plants
Hm, that’s exactly what Southern Company said it was incompetent to do. Apparently it figured out to do what other power companies already knew how to do.

Anyway, pumping out CO2 from coal plants is what Southern Company is doing instead of solar and wind.

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Farmers and other people own most of Germany’s reneable energy production

Power companies aren’t the only possible owners of solar power farms, and centralized isn’t the only power distribution model. In Germany, most renewable energy production is owned by people, not power companies.

Matthew McDermott wrote for Treehugger 6 January 2011, Over Half of Germany’s Renewable Energy Owned By Citizens & Farmers, Not Utility Companies

Germany’s promotion of renewable energy rightly gets singled out for its effectiveness, most often by me as an example of how to do things well versus the fits and starts method of promotion common in the US. Over at Wind-Works, Paul Gipe points out another interesting facet of the German renewable energy saga: 51% of all renewable energy in Germany is owned by individual citizens or farms, totaling $100 billion worth of private investment in clean energy.

Breaking that down into solar power and wind power, 50% of Germany’s solar PV is owned by individuals and farms, while 54% of its wind power is held by the same groups.

Not only is that more distributed, but it also may be a faster way to get solar deployed:
In total there’s roughly 17 GW of solar PV installed in Germany—versus roughly 3.6 GW in the US (based on SEIA’s figures for new installations though the third quarter of 2011 plus the 2.6 GW installed going into the year).

Remember, Germany now produces slightly over 20% of all its electricity from renewable sources.

Nothing prevents Georgia Power or Colquitt Electric or any of the other power companies operating in Georgia from leading the solar pack. For example, power companies concerned that solar doesn’t produce at night could still deploy solar peak load generation, thus dispensing with natural gas peak load generation.

While the power companies are not leading, private organizations such as Tabby Solar, founded by a pair of doctors, are forging ahead anyway.

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